To start off 2016 with a bang, ETSU’s Campus Crusade for Christ and Student Government Association hosted the MAZE on Wednesday in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium in spite of snow and university closings.

According to the MAZE’s website, the show is “a mystery performance piece that has traveled the world,” and “has bewildered audiences for the past decade with its unique and innovative approach to entertainment.”

Students who attended the MAZE witnessed illusionism by the organization’s founder, Jim Monroe.  The audience sat bewildered throughout the performance, their eyes not believing what was happening on the stage.

“The MAZE is a fun show that has high entertainment value, while also inspiring students to think about the big questions in life through hearing personal stories,” the Blue Ridge Cru staff team stated. “It’s the best show of its kind that we know of.”

Sara Bottomly, ETSU alum and current Cru intern, said that she felt the show would “reach a variety of students.”

Some students may have found the MAZE familiar, due to a performance of their’s in the area a few years ago.  However, this year’s show was completely new and included magic that was not seen at the group’s last appearance on a Johnson City stage.

No spoilers about the production were released before the performance, due to the MAZE’s aura of mystery and awe.

According to a flier, students would see “magic redefined,” and realize that “perception changes everything,” but there was still no sure way to know what be seen in the smoke and mirrors on stage Wednesday night.

During the show, students were exposed to a multimedia experience that featured Monroe’s amazing mind tricks and numbered schemes.  Monroe had a personality that kept viewers engaged and laughing throughout the performance.

“Jim Monroe’s performance captured my attention the entire time and emotionally impacted me through the telling of his story,” said a student who attended the performance.

“He had great stage presence and did a great job engaging the audience.”

The mystery of the MAZE delivered a show that was both entertaining and intellectually exciting to ETSU students.  At the end of the show, Monroe shared his inspiring personal story that led him to magic and religion.

Cru and SGA hoped that the MAZE would help kickstart student interest and involvement at the beginning of a cold and snowy semester.

“We felt that the MAZE would be able to bring students together in community,” Bottomly said.

“The MAZE will be a way for students from across campus to connect in the presence of mystery and magic.”